God's Earth and Outer Space - a universe within a Universe

Christians believe that this earth (and outer space) are created by God.  In addition to this universe we have managed to detect using physical measurements, there is another Universe, which contains basically everything else that isn't here, such as angels and Heaven.  Our universe is nested within the other Universe. We are a universe within a Universe.  This is not a surprise to Christians, but some atheists find it hard to believe.

The difference between the universes:
Our universe is enemy-occupied territory (Satan has considerable, but still limited, power on Earth).  Our universe is ephemeral and will not last forever (a really long time, but not forever).  In contrast, the outer Universe is permanent and out there somewhere in it there is a big battle between various heavenly beings over each of our souls (yes, a battle is being fought over us, strange as it may seem).  

Some secular themed examples of the concept:
This concept of a universe within a Universe, while it seems normal to many Christians, will feel a little alien to most atheists.  However, there are some fictional secular examples of a nested universe.  The best-known of these is the movie "The Matrix" (1999), where what seems like a real physical world just like our Earth is in fact a computer simulation.  In that movie, human bodies are actually in a state of suspended animation in 'real life' while their minds are interacting with the virtual world (computer program world) known as The Matrix.  The main character found it difficult to believe he was in a virtual world when he was first told about it. In that virtual world, things seem just as real to them as our universe seems to us.  This begs the question, how can anyone know that they are (or are not) in a Matrix-like world, or any form of a nested universe, for that matter?

A lesser known example of a universe within a universe is the book "Saga" by Conor Kostick (2006).  In this book, people living what seems like a real-life world, notice that a few oddly dressed people appear immune to some of the physical laws.  It later transpires that this world is in fact a virtual world (even though it seems real to its inhabitants), and the oddly dressed people are computer people generated by actual people in the real world.  That sounds a little complicated, so putting it the reverse way may be easier: imagine your universe is the 'real' one, and you start playing a computer game, only to be aghast to find out that the other characters inside the computer game are actually real and sentient.  If you kill someone in the computer game, you are actually killing them in their world.

Again, just because we can physically detect our world but not an 'outer' world, does not in itself rule out the possibility that such an outer world exists.

Our world which seems so real to us is ephemeral
This universe containing Earth will one day be no more. Thus, as I have mentioned in a previous post, we need to remember to see God as more solid, more real than us or anything else in this physical world.  In contrast, many people see Him as less real. 

Yet our lives, actions and beliefs in this ephemeral world matter, and have consequences for us in the outer Universe
Of course, it's important that we not fall into the trap of thinking this world "doesn't matter" just because it won't last forever.  It is made clear in the Bible that this world is a training ground for us, and as such, it does matter - very much.  If we truly believe in God and Jesus, our actions should reflect those beliefs.  We are not saved by works alone but by God's grace through Jesus's sacrifice.  Yet, if we really truly truly believe in God and Jesus, our actions should follow.  So we are saved by grace, through faith, for us to do good works.  In a sense, this world allows us to show our faith via our actions.  

In the outer Universe, God would be very much more evident to us and in that situation there would therefore be no need for us to even have faith because the proof would be in front of us.  This world gives all of us the opportunity to be saved through Jesus Christ, i.e. to be saved by grace through faith.  Although this seems a convoluted way for God to do things, C.S. Lewis has speculated that redeemed man is somehow intrinsically more valuable than never-fallen man would have been.  This may be in part due to the fact that if we had never fallen and thus would not have been in need of salvation, we as humans would never have come to realize or notice even a fraction of the depth of God's love and grace for us.

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